This is a scene from the movie "Rock N Rolla" where a guy is getting his bollocks crushed. I would've provided you with an actual pic but back when I saw it last implemented live, cell phone/camera combos didn't exist. However I'll upddate this post if I happen upon any brawls where I see this tactic implemented for the sake of authenticity.

Hey you,

It’s #2.

Have you ever had to claw a deathgrip into another mans ball sack in a street fight so that you could end up sleeping between your own sheets instead of the ones at the hospital? If the answer is no, for which most of you it will be, my experience in seeing this done, is that it immediately dissolves any and all resistance from the formerly resistant party and they become all ears.

It’s kinda magical.

Today I want to to talk to you about a mindset and two social media sites that allow you to grab the internet by the balls so that you can either step into a new market with almost none of the drama that comes with this process or… dig up and evaporate any objections your current market has that you don’t know about, that once repaired, help you serve them at the next highest level… or, find out what they’re begging for you to give them.

And when you adopt this mindset and use these free tools… social media can be useful to the point that it helps you talk to your target market in a way that will get them to sit up and listen to what you have to say… without you having to be a “Social Networking Ninja”.

This is a killer marketing lesson from the mouth of ahhh… an ‘alleged’ killer… and his nerdy side kick.

The content I’m sharing with you comes directly from the 7th chapter of “The 5oth Law” written by Robert Greene and the world famous rapper 50 Cent. In this chapter, which I’ve painstakingly typed out for you here, there are countless examples starting from how a parent-less child, who grew up to be sent to prison and later be shot 9 times and LIVE through it… became an industry leader by grabbing the music industry by the balls all the way to how the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt helped her husband run the country by grabbing the attention of the nation.

Let the discovery begin…

Know Your Environment From The Inside Out – Connection

Most people think first of what they want to express or make, then find the audience for their idea. You must work the opposite angle, thinking first of the public, you need to keep your focus on their changing needs, the trends that are washing through them. Beginning with their demand, you create the appropriate supply. Do not be afraid of people’s criticisms – without such feedback your work will be too personal and delusional. You msut maintain as close a relationship to your environment as possible, getting an inside “Feel” for what is happening around you. Never lose touch with your base.

Hood Economics

“I knew that the ghetto people knew that I never left the ghetto in spirit, and I never left it physically any more than I had to. I had a ghetto instinct; for instance, I could feel if tension was beyond normal in a ghetto audience. And I could speak and understand the ghetto’s language.”

Malcom X

Starting out as a drug dealer at the age of twelve, Curtis Jackson faced an unfamiliar world that contained all kinds of dangers. The business side of hustling was relatively easy to figure out. It was the people, the various actors in the game – the rival hustlers, the big-time dealers, the police – who could be tricky.

But strangest and most impenetrable of all was the world of drug users themselves, the clientele upon which his business depended. Their behavior could be erratic and even downright frightening.

With rival hustlers and the police, Curtis could get inside their way of thinking because they all operated with a degree of rationality. But the drug fiends seemed to be dominated by their needs, and they could turn unfriendly or violent at any moment. Many dealers developed a kind of phobia of the fiends.

They saw in them the weaknesses and dependence that could befall anyone who succumbed to addiction. The hustler relies on his razor-sharp mind; to even flirt with drug use could destroy such power and lead him down the slippery slope towards dependence. If he was around the fiends too much he could become a user himself. Curtis understood this and kept his distance from them, but this aspect of hustling bothered him.

On one particular occasion, the fiends were suddenly avoiding him and he could not figure out why. All he knew was that he could not sell a batch of drugs that he had on consignment. Under such an arrangement, a higher-up source, or connect, had given him the drugs for free; once he sold the entire lot, he would return a specified amount of the earnings to the connect and keep the rest as profit.

But in this instance it looked like he would not make nearly enough to pay back the connect.

That could prove damaging to his reputation and lead to all kinds of trouble; he might have to steal to get the money.

Feeling somewhat desperate, he went into full hustling mode, working night and day, offering all kinds of discounts, whatever it took to unload the drugs. He managed to make back just enough, but it was a close call. Perhaps the quality of the batch he was selling was inferior, but how could he tell beforehand and how could he prevent this from happening again and again?

One day he sought the advice of a man named, Dre, an older hustler who had lasted and unusually long time dealing drugs on the streets. He was considered a sharp businessman (in prison he had studied economics on his own), and he seemed to have an especially good rapport with the fiends.

Dre explained to Curtis that in his experience there are two kinds of hustlers in this world – those who stay on the outside, and those who move to the inside.

The outside types never bother to learn anything about their customers. It’s just about the money and numbers. They have no concept of psychology or the nuances of people’s needs and demands. They’re afraid of getting too close to the customer – that might force them to reassess their ideas and methods.

The superior hustler moves to the inside. He’s not afraid of the fiends; he wants to find out what’s going on in their heads. Drug users are no different from anyone else. They have phobias and bouts of boredom and a whole inner life.

Because you remain on the outside, he told Curtis, you don’t see any of this and your hustling is purely mechanical and dead.

To raise your game, he explained, you have to first put into practice one of the oldest hustling tricks in the book – the “tester.” What this means is the following: whenever you get a batch of drugs, you separate a portion of it to give out for free to certain fiends. They tell you right there on the spot whether the stuff is good or bad.

If their feedback is positive, they will spread the word through their own networks, and such reports are so much more credible coming from a fellow user, than reports from a hustler hyping his own stuff. If the feedback is negative, you will have to adjust and find some way to cut it, to offer “Illusions” (apparent two for one deals, with the capsules simply loaded with dust), whatever it takes to unload it. But you must always operate with feedback on the quality of your product. Otherwise you will not survive on these streets.

Once you have this system in place, you use it to cultivate relationships with your most reliable fiends. They supply you with valuable information about any kind of change in tastes that are happening. Talking to the you get all kinds of ideas for marketing schemes and new angles for hustling. You gain a feel for how they think. From this inside position, the whole game explodes into something creative and alive with possibility.

Curtis quickly incorporated this system and soon discovered that the drug fiends were not at all as he had imagined.

They became erratic only when you were not consistent in your dealings with them. They valued convenience and fast transactions, wanted something new every now and then and loved the thought of any kind of deal.

With this growing body of knowledge he could play to their needs and manipulate their demand. He discovered something else – spending much of their time on the streets, they were a great source of information about what was going on with the police, or the weaknesses of rival hustlers. Knowing so much about the neighborhood gave him a feeling of great power.

Later he would translate this same strategy to music and his mix-tape campaign on the streets of New York. Maintaining a close connection to the tastes of his fans, he would alter his music to their responses and create the kind of sound that had a visceral appeal, something they had never heard before.

After the remarkable success of his first two commercial albums, Curtis (now known as 50 Cent) stood on top of the music world, but his sense of connection, so vital on the streets, was fading in this new environment he now inhabited.

He was surrounded by flatterers who wanted to be in his entourage, and managers and industry people who saw in him only dollar signs. His main interactions were with people in the corporate world or other stars. He could no longer hang out on the streets or get firsthand looks at the trends that were just starting up.

All of this meant that he was flying blind with his music, not really sure if it would connect anymore with his audience. They were the source of his energy and spirit, but the distance separating them was growing. Other stars seemed to not mind this; in fact, they enjoyed living in this kind of celebrity bubble. They were afraid of coming back down to earth. Fifty felt the opposite, but there seemed to be no way out.

Then in early 2007, he decided to start up his own website.

He thought of it as a way to market his music and merchandise directly to the public, without the screen of his record label, which was proving quite inept in adapting to the Internet age.

Soon this site transformed itself into a social networking site, like Facebook for his fans, and the more he delved into it, the more he began to sense that this represented much more than a marketing gimmick—it was perhaps the ultimate marketing tool for reconnecting with his audience.

First he decided to experiment. As he prepared to launch a G-Unit record in the summer of 2008, he leaked one of the songs onto the website on a Friday night, then the next day he refreshed the Comments page every few minutes and tracked the members’ responses to it.

After several hundred comments it was clear that the verdict was negative.

The song was too soft, they judged; they wanted and expected something harder from a G-Unit record. Taking their criticisms to heart, he shelved the song and soon released another, creating the hard sound they had demanded. This time the response was overwhelmingly positive.

This called for more experiments. He put up the latest single from his archenemy, The Game, hoping to read negative comments from his fans. To his surprise, many of them liked the song. He engaged in an online debate with them and had his eyes opened about changes in people’s tastes and why they might have grown distant from his music.

It forced him to rethink his own direction.

To draw more people to his site, he decided to break down the distance in both directions. He posted blogs on personal subjects, and then responded to his fans’ comments. They could feel they had complete access to him.

Using the latest advances in phone technology, he took this further, having his team film him on their cell phones wherever he went; these images were then streamed live on the website. This generated intense traffic and online chatter – fans would never know when such moments could happen, so they were forced to check in at regular intervals to try to catch these spontaneous moments, sometimes riveting in their banality, other times made dramatic by Fifty’s flair for confrontation.

Membership grew by leaps and bounds.

As it evolved, the website came to strangely resemble the world of hustling that he had created for himself on the streets of Southside Queens. He could produce testers (trial songs) for his fans, who were like drug fiends, constantly hungry for new product from Fifty, and he could get instant feedback on their quality.

He could develop a feel for what they were looking for and how he could manipulate their demand. He had moved from the outside to the inside, and the hustling game came alive once more, this time on a global scale.

The Fearless Approach

“The public is never wrong. When people don’t respond to what you do, they’re telling you something loud and clear. You’re just not listening.”

50 Cent

“They’re smarter than you when it comes to opening their wallet.”

Brian Clark of Copyblogger.com fame

All living creatures depend for their survival on their relationship to their environment. If they are particularly sensitive to any kind of change – a danger or an opportunity – they have greater power to dominate their surroundings.

It is not simply that the hawk can see farther than any other creature, but that it can see great detail, picking out the slightest alteration in the landscape. It’s eyes give it tremendous sensitivity and supreme hunting prowess.

We live in an environment that is mostly human. It consists of the people that we interact with day in and day out. These humans come from many varied backgrounds and cultures. They are individuals with their own unique experiences.

To know people well—their differences, their nuances, their emotional life—would give us great sense of connection and power. We would know how to reach them, communicate more effectively, and influence their actions. But so often we remain on the outside and lack this power. To connect to this environment in this way would mean having to move outside ourselves, train our eyes on people, but so often we prefer to live in our heads, amid our own thoughts and dreams.

We strive to make everything in the world familiar and simple. We grow insensitive to people’s differences, to the details that make them individuals.

At the root of this turning inward and disconnect is a great fear—one of the most primal known to man, and perhaps the least understood. In the beginning, our primitive ancestors formed groups for protection. To create a sense of cohesion, they established all kinds of codes of behavior, taboos, and shared rituals.

They also created myths in which their tribe was considered to be the favorite of the gods, chosen for some great purpose. To be a member of the tribe was to be cleansed by rituals and to be favored by the gods. Those who belonged to other groups had unfamiliar rituals and belief systems—their own gods and origin myths.

They were not clean.

They represented the Other – something dark, threatening and a challenge to the tribe’s sense of superiority.

This was part of our psychological makeup for thousands upon thousands of years. It transformed itself into a great fear of other cultures and ways of thinking – for Christians, this meant all heathens.

And despite millennia of civilization, it lives on within us to this day, in the form of a mental process in which we divide the world into what is familiar and unfamiliar, clean and unclean.

We develop certain ideas and values; we socialize with those who share those values, who form part of our inner circle, our clique.  We form factions of rigid beliefs – on the right, on the left, for this or for that. We live in our heads, with the same thoughts and ideas over and over, cocooned from the outside world.

When we are confronted with people or individuals who have different values and belief systems, we feel threatened.

Our first move is NOT to understand them but to demonize them – that shadowy Other. Alternatively, we may choose to look at them through the prism of our own values and assume they share them.

We mentally convert the Other into something familiar – “they may come from a completely different culture, but after all, they must want the same things we do.” This is a failure of our minds to move outward and understand, to be sensitive to nuance. Everything must be white or black, clean or unclean.

Understand: the opposite approach is the way to power in this world.

It begins with a fundamental fearlessness – you do not feel afraid or affronted by people who have different ways of thinking or acting. You do not feel superior to those on the outside. In fact, you are excited by such diversity.

Your first move is to open up your spirit to these differences, to understand what makes the Other tick, to gain a feel for people’s inner lives, how they see the world. In this way, you continually expose yourself to wider and wider circles of people, building connections to these various networks. The source of your power is your sensitivity and closeness to this social environment. You can detect trends and changes in people’s tastes well before anyone else.

In the hood, conditions are more crowded than elsewhere; people with all kinds of different psychologies are constantly in your face. Any power you have depends on your ability to know everything that is going on around you, to be sensitive to changes, aware of the power structures that are imposed from without and within.

There is no time or room to escape to some inner dreamland. You have a sense of urgency to stay connected to the environment and the people around you – your life depends on it.

We now live in similar conditions – all kinds of people of divergent cultures and psychologies are thrown together. But because we live in a society of more apparent abundance and ease, we lack that sense of urgency to connect to other people.

This is dangerous. In such a melting pot as the modern world, with people’s tastes changing at a faster pace than ever before, our success depends on our ability to move outside ourselves and connect to other social networks. At all costs you need to continually force yourself outward. You must reach a point where any sense of losing this connection with your environment translates into a feeling of vulnerability and peril.

In the end this primal fear of ours translates into a mental infirmity—the closing of the mind to any ideas that are new and unfamiliar. The fearless types in history learn to develop the opposite: an open spirit, a mind that is constantly learning from experience.

Look at the example of the great British primatologist Jane Goodall, whose field research revolutionized our ideas on chimpanzees and primates.

Prior to Goodall’s work, scientists had established certain accepted ideas on how to do research on animals such as chimpanzees. They were mostly to be studied in cages under very controlled circumstances.

On occasion, primatologists would research in the wild; they would come up with various tricks to lure the chimpanzees closer to them, while remaining hidden behind some kind of protective screen. They would conduct experiments by manipulating the animals and noting their responses.

The goal was to come up with general truths about chimpanzee behavior. Only by keeping their distance from the animals could the scientists study them.

Goodall did not have any formal training in the sciences when she arrived in 1960 in what is now known as Tanzania to study chimpanzees in the wild. Operating totally on her own, she devised a radically different means of research.

The chimps lived in the remotest parts of the country and were notoriously shy. She tracked them from a distance, patiently working to gain their trust. She dressed inconspicuously and was careful to not look them in the eye. When she noticed they were uncomfortable with her being in the area, she moved away, or acted like a baboon that was merely digging for insects.

Slowly, over the course of several months, she was able to move closer and closer. Now she could begin to identify individual chimps that she kept seeing; she gave them names, something scientists had never done before—they had always been designated by numbers.

With these names, she could begin to detect subtle nuances in their individual behavior; they had different personalities, like humans. After nearly a year of this patient seduction, the chimps began to relax in her presence and allow her to interact with them, something no one had ever achieved in the history of studying primates in the wild.

This took a tremendous degree of courage, as chimpanzees were considered the most volatile of the primates, more dangerous and violent than gorillas.

As she interacted with them more and more, she noticed a change in herself as well. “I think my mind works like a chimp’s subconsciously,” she wrote a friend. She felt this because she had developed an uncanny ability to find them in the forest.

Now gaining access to them, she took note of several phenomena that belied the accepted data on chimpanzee behavior. Scientists had catalogued the animals as vegetarians; she observed them hunting and eating monkeys.

Only humans were considered capable of making and using tools; she saw them crafting elaborate instruments to catch insects for food.

She saw them engage in bizarre dance rituals during a rainstorm. She later observed a horrific war that went on for four years between rival packs. She catalogued some rather Machiavellian behavior among the males who fought for supremacy.

All in all, she revealed a degree of variety in their emotional and intellectual lives that altered the concept not only of chimpanzees but also of all primates and mammals.

This has great application beyond the realms of science. Normally when you study something, you begin with certain preconceived notions about the subject. (Because scientists had come to believe that chimpanzees had a limited range of behavior, that is all that they saw, missing the much more complex reality.)

Your mind begins to process in a closed state – not really sensitive to difference and nuance. You are afraid of having your assumptions challenged.

Instead, like Goodall, you must let go of this need to control and narrow your field of vision. When you study the individual or a group, your goal is to get inside their minds, their experiences, their way of looking at things.

To do this, you must interact with them on a more equal plane. With this open and fearless spirit, you will have a much deeper appreciation for the targets of your actions or the public you are trying to reach. And with such understanding will come the power to move them.

Keys To Fearlessness

“Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.”

-Francois de La Rochefoucauld-

In the work that we produce for business or for culture, there is always a telling moment- when it leaves our hands and reaches the public for which it was intended. In that instant it ceases to be something in our heads; it becomes an object that is judged by others.

Sometimes this object connects with people in a profound way. It strikes an emotional chord, resonates, and has warmth. It meets a need. Other times it leaves people surprisingly cold—in our minds we had imagined it having a much different effect.

This process can seem rather mysterious. Some people seem to have a knack for creating things that resonate with an audience. They are great artists, politicians with the popular touch, or business people who are endlessly inventive. Sometimes we ourselves produce something that works, but we fail to understand why, and lacking this knowledge, we cannot reproduce our success.

There is an aspect to this phenomenon, however, that is explicable.

Anything we create or produce is for the public—large or small, depending on what we do. If we are the type that lives mostly in our heads, imagining what the intended public will like, or not even caring, this spirit is reproduced in the work itself. It is disconnected from the social environment; it is a product of a person who is wrapped up in him or herself.

If on the other hand, we are deeply connected to the public, if we have a profound sense of their needs and wants, then what we make tends to resonate. We have internalized the way of thinking and feeling of our audience and it shows in the work.

The great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky had almost two separate parts to his career: in the first, he was a socialist who interacted mostly with other intellectuals. His novels and stories were relatively successful.

But then in 1849 he was sentenced to several years of prison and hard labor in Siberia for ostensibly conspiring against the government. There, he suddenly discovered that he hadn’t known the Russian people at all. In prison he was thrown among the dregs of society. In the small village where he did his hard labor, he finally mingled with the Russian peasantry that dominated the country.

Once he was freed, all of these experiences became deeply embedded in his work, and suddenly his novels resonated far beyond intellectual circles. He understood his public, the mass of Russian people, from the inside, and his work became immensely popular.

Understand: you cannot disguise your attitude towards the public. If you feel superior at all, part of some chosen elite, then this seeps out in the work.

It is conveyed in the tone and mood. It feels patronizing. If you have little access to the public you are trying to reach but you feel that the ideas in your head cannot fail to be interesting, then it almost inevitably comes across as something too personal, the product of someone who is alienated. In either case, what is really dominating the spirit of your work is fear.

To interact closely with the public and get it’s feedback might mean having to adjust your “brilliant’ ideas, your preconceived notions. This might challenge your tidy vision of the world. You might disguise this with a snobbish veneer, but it is the age-old fear of the Other.

We are social creatures who make things in order to communicate and connect with those around us. Your goal must be to break down the distance between you and your audience, the base of your support in life. Some of this distance is mental – it comes from your ego and the need to feel superior.

Some of it is physical—the nature of your business tends to shut you off from the public with layers of bureaucracy. In any event, what you are seeking is maximum interaction, allowing you to get a feel for people from the inside. You come to thrive off their feedback and criticism.

Operating this way, what you produce will not fail to resonate because it will come from the inside. This deep level of interaction is the source of the most powerful and popular works in culture and business, and a political style that truly connects.

These are four strategies you can use to bring yourself closer to this ideal.

CRUSH ALL DISTANCE

The French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec came from one of the oldest aristocratic bloodlines in France, but from early on he felt estranged from his family.

Part of this came from his physical handicap—his legs had stopped growing at the age of fourteen, giving him a dwarfish appearance. Part of it came from his sensitive nature. He turned to painting as his only interest in life, and in 1882, at the age of eighteen, he moved to Paris to study with a famous artist whose studio was in Montmarte—the bohemian and somewhat seedy part of the city.

There Toulouse-Lautrec discovered a whole new world—the cafés and dance halls frequented by prostitutes, con-artists, dancers, street performers, and all the shady characters who found themselves drawn to the this quartier.

Perhaps because of his own alienation from his family, he identified with these outcasts. And slowly he began to immerse himself deeper and deeper in the social life of Montmartre.

He befriended the prostitutes and hired them as models, seeking to capture the essence of their lives on canvas. He returned to the dance halls often and sketched while he watched. He drank with the criminal types and the anarchist agitators who passed through the neighborhood. He absorbed every aspect of this world, including the habits of the rich people who came to the area for entertainment and to slum it.

Other painters like Degas and Renoir, who both lived in Montmartre, painted scenes of life there, but it was always with a sense of distance, as if they were outsiders peeking in. Toulouse-Lautrec was more of an active participant. And as his drawings and paintings began to reflect this immersion, his work drew more attention from the public.

All of this culminated in the posters that he did for the dance hall the Moulin Rouge, which opened in 1889. The first and most famous one of all was a scandalous image of a dancer kicking so high you can see her underwear. The colors are intense and garish.

But strangest of all is the kind of flat space he created, which gives viewers the sensation that they are there onstage with the performers, in the middle of all the activity and bright lights. No one had created anything quite like it before.

When the poster was placed all over the city, people were mesmerized by the image. It seemed to vibrate with a life of it’s own. More and more posters followed of all the figures in the Moulin Rouge whom he came to know on intimate terms, and an entire new aesthetic was forged around his complete democratic mingling with his subjects. His work became immensely popular.

Understand: in this day and age, to reach people you must have access to their inner lives—their frustrations, aspirations, resentments.

To do so, you must crush as much distance as possible between you and your audience. You enter their spirit and absorb it from within. Their way of looking at things becomes yours, and when you re-create it in some form of work, it has a life.

What shocks and excites you will then have the same effect on them. This requires a degree of fearlessness and an open spirit. You are not afraid to have your whole personality shaped by these intense interactions. You assume a radical equality with the public, giving voice to people’s ideas and desires. What you produce will naturally connect in a deep way.

OPEN INFORMAL CHANNELS OF CRITICISM AND FEEDBACK

When Eleanor Roosevelt entered the White House as the First Lady in 1933, it was with much trepidation.

She had a disdain for conventional politics and for the kind of cliquish attitude it fostered. In her mind, her husband’s power would depend on his connection to the people who had elected him.

To get out of the Depression, the public had to feel engaged in the struggle, not merely be seduced by speeches and programs. When people feel involved they bring their won ideas and energy to the cause. Her fear was that the bureaucratic nature of government would swallow up her husband.

He would come to listen to his cabinet members and experts; his contact with the public would be relegated to formal channels such as reports, polls, and studies. This isolation would spell his doom, cutting him off from his base of support. Denied an official position within the administration, she decided to work to create informal channels to the public on her own.

She travelled all over the country—to inner cities and remote rural towns—listening to people’s complaints and needs. She brought many of these people back to meet the president to give him firsthand impressions of the effects of the New Deal.

She started a column in The Woman’s Home Companion, in which she had posted above the headline, “I want you to write me.” She would use her column as a kind of discussion forum with the American public, encouraging people to share their criticisms.

Within six months she received over 300,000 letters, and with her staff she worked to answer every last one of them. She opened other channels of communication, for instance, planting her aides in various New Deal programs who would then poll on her behalf the public affected by these programs.

With this system in place, she began to see a pattern from the bottom up—a growing disenchantment with the New Deal.

Every day, she left a memo in her husband’s basket, reminding him of these criticisms and the need to be more responsive. And slowly she began to have and influence on his policy, pushing him leftward—for instance, getting him to create programs such as the NYA, the National Youth Administration, which would involve young people actively in the New Deal.

Over time she became the unofficial channel of communication for women’s groups and African Americans, shoring up FDR’s support in these two key constituencies. All of this work took tremendous courage, for she was continually ridiculed for her activist approach, long before any first lady had ever thought of taking such a role. And her work played a major part in FDR’s ability to maintain his image as a man of the people.

As Eleanor understood, any kind of group tends to close itself off from the outside world. It is easier to operate this way.

From within this bubble, people will delude themselves into thinking they have insight into how their audience or public feels—they read the papers, various reports, the poll numbers, etc. But all of this information tends to be flat and highly filtered.

It is much different when you interact directly with the public and hear in the flesh their criticisms and feedback. You discover what lies at the root of their discontent, the various nuances of how your work affects them. Their problems come to life, and any solutions you come up with have more relevance.

You create a back-and-forth dynamic in which their ideas, involvement, and energy can be harnessed for your purposes. If some distance between you and the public must be maintained, by the nature of your group or enterprise, then the ideal is to open up as many informal channels as possible, getting your feedback straight from the source.

RECONNECT WITH YOUR BASE

We see the following occur over and over: a person has success when they are younger because they have deep ties with a social group.

What they produce and say comes from a real place and connects with an audience. Then slowly they lose this connection. Success creates distance. They come to spend most of their time with other successful people. Consciously or unconsciously, they come to feel separated and above their audience. The intensity in their work is gone and with it any kind of real effect on the public.

In his own way the famous black activist Malcom X struggled with this problem.

He had spent his youth as a savvy street hustler, ending up in prison on drug charges. There, he discovered the religion of Islam, as practiced by the Nation of Islam, and immediately converted.

Out of prison he became a highly visible spokesperson for the group. Eventually he broke off from the Nation of Islam and transformed himself into a leading figure in the growing black power movement of the 1960’s.

In these various phases of his life, Malcom felt intense anger and frustration at the levels of injustice for African Americans, much of which he had experienced firsthand. He channeled these emotions into powerful speeches, seeming to give voice to the anger that many felt who lived deep within the ghettos of America.

But as he became more and more famous, he felt some anxiety.

Other leaders in the black community that he had known had begun to live fairly well; they could not help but feel some distance and superiority to those they were supposed to represent—like a father caring for a child.

Malcom hated that feeling of creeping paternalism. In his mind, people can only help themselves—his role was to inspire them to actions, not act in their name. To inoculate himself against this psychic distance, he increased his interactions with street hustlers and agitators, the kind of people from the lower depths that most leaders would scrupulously avoid.

Those from the heart of the ghetto were his power base and he had to reconnect with them. He made himself spend more time with those who had suffered recent injustices, soaking up their experiences and sense of outrage.

Most people mellow with age—he would retain his anger, the intensity of emotions that had impelled him in the first place and given him his charisma.

The goal in connecting to the public is not to please everyone or to spread yourself out to the widest possible audience. Communication is a power of intensity, not ex tensity and numbers.

In trying to widen your appeal, you will substitute quantity for quality and you will pay a price. You have a base of power—a group of people, small or large, which identifies with you. This base is also mental—ideas you had when you were younger, which were tied to powerful emotions and inspired you to take a particular path.

Time and success tend to diffuse the sense of connection you have to this physical and mental base. You will drift and your powers of communication will diminish.

Know your base and work to reconnect with it. Keep your associations with it alive, intense, and present. Return to your origins—the source of all inspiration and power.

CREATE THE SOCIAL MIRROR

Alone, in our minds, we can imagine we have all kinds of powers and abilities.

Our egos can inflate to any size. But when we produce something that fails to have the expected impact, we are suddenly faced with a limit—we are not as brilliant or skilled as we had imagined.

In such a case, our tendency is to blame others for not understanding it or getting in our way. Our egos are bruised and delicate—criticism from the outside seems like a personal attack, which we cannot endure. We tend to close ourselves off and this makes it doubly difficult to succeed with our next venture.

Instead of turning inward, consider people’s coolness to your idea and their criticisms as a kind of mirror they are holding up to you.

A physical mirror turns you into an object you can see yourself as others see you. Your ego cannot protect you—the mirror does not lie. You use it to correct your appearance and avoid ridicule. The opinions of other people serve a similar function.

You view your work from inside your mind, encrusted with all kinds of desires and fears. They it as an object; they see it as it is. Through their criticisms you can get closer to this objective version and gradually improve what you do. (One caveat: beware of feedback from friends whose judgments could be tainted by feelings of envy or the need to flatter.”

When your work does not communicate with others, consider it your own fault—you did not make your ideas clear enough and you failed to connect with your audience emotionally.

This will spare you any bitterness or anger that might come from people’s critiques. You are simply perfecting your work through the social mirror.

Reversal Of Perspective

Science and the scientific method are very powerful and practical pursuits of knowledge that have come to dominate much of our thinking for the past few centuries.

But they have also spawned a peculiar preconception—that to understand anything we must study it from a distance and with a detached perspective.  For example, we tend to judge a book that is full of statistics and quotes from various studies as carrying more weight because it seems to have requisite scientific objectivity and distance.

Science however, often deals with matter that is inorganic or has a marginal emotional life. Studying such things from a detached perspective makes sense and yields profound results. But this does not translate so well when dealing with people and creatures who respond from an emotional core.

The knowledge of what makes them tick on the inside is missing. To study them from the outside is merely a prejudice, often one stemming from fear—dealing with people’s experiences and subjectivity is messy and chaotic. Distance is cleaner and easier.

It is time to reevaluate this preconception and see things from the opposite perspective.

Knowledge of human nature and social factors, the kind that is often most valuable to us, depends on knowing people and networks from the inside, on getting a feel for what they are experiencing.

This can be best gained by an intense involvement and participation, as opposed to the pseudoscientific pose of the intellectual addicted to studies, citations, and numbers, all designed to back up their preconceptions.

This other form of knowledge, from the inside, must be the one that you come to esteem above all the others in social matters.

It is what will give you power to affect people. To the extent that you feel yourself to be distant and on the outside, you must tell yourself you do not understand what you are studying or trying to reach—you are missing the mark and there is work to be done.

“A really intelligent man feels what other man only know.”

Baron De Montesquieu

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OVERRIDDING MORAL OF THIS WHOLE POST : Go Spend time in the midst of people who give you money or that can give you money.

Here’s a brain dead simple way to do this without leaving the house…

Some of you may use Facebook and Twitter purely for recreation. Some of you maybe haven’t seen the pure potential in these two resources to gain the pulse of your market.

You can use these sites to find your audience. Ask yourself, “Who’s got potential customers of mine following them and engaged in rabid conversation?” These conversations are going to immerse you in how the market feels about what you offer, RIGHT NOW… AT THIS VERY MOMENT.

This is incredibly easy and valuable for all the reasons talked about above. What’s also awesome is that all of this super high quality info cost you NOTHING. And it’s waaayyy more accurate than 95% of focus group results or surveys. Especially if the leader these people follow has built a great relationship with their audience.

Two people I can think of who’ve done this on Facebook are Jim Rome, the sports analyst behind the radio broadcast “The Jim Rome Show” and T.V. show on ESPN, “Jim Rome is Burning” and the “Hungry Girl” who is a new author and I’m guessing, built on the back of her personality which is what attracted an interactive following on Facebook, is soon to have  a T.V. show on the Food Network. These two niche celebrities pose questions to their followers and get 100’s of answers back.

THIS IS 100% FREE, TARGETED, MARKET RESEARCH

It let’s them know what their crowd wants and what they don’t. What they like and what they hate. What they’d buy or have bought and what they’d burn if they had a chance.

Now if you’re in the food preparing/selling business or the sports apparel/merchandise business you’re bound to mine some gems out of the raw unfiltered feedback these fans are freely sharing amongst their “Friends” (which is usually the place they truth tell).

So what you want to do is go to search.twitter.com and facebook.com and type in the names of the gurus of your industry and start following them.

This is where you be a Jane Goodall. You just either kick back and observe or contribute valuable nuggets of wisdom. DO NOT TRY TO SELL BANANAS TO THE CHIMPANZEES!!!

These groups are highly sensitive to insensitive douche canoes barging in and trying to heave their wares onto them before being accepted into the tribe. The biggest part of making this work, is just showing up and being cool. These people, no doubt about it, love to buy shit but they don’t like it when some foreigner comes in and fucks off the party vibe with blatant sales pitches.

By obnoxiously spamming (which is what the group will see your uninvited pitch fest as), you’ll also sabotage any joint venture opportunities with the guru that could’ve come had you just shown up and livened up the party… made the place more fun, more interesting, more engaging.

Parting Words: Stay flexible. Keep observing your readers (and customers), keep paying attention to their needs and wants, and keep challenging your own assumptions. This is one sure shot way to make social media pay off.

Of course there’s 97 other ways to use the interwebz for research and I’m only speaking to two here. Beware of trying to manage multiple social networking sites at once if you’re new to this concept. I’d say 2 is pushing it. My favorite two now are Facebook and Twitter.

If you guys and gals have anything else to add, always feel welcome to chime in. Like Eleanor Roosevelt, “I Want You To Write Me”. Last time I checked I don’t know everything yet so I probably missed an important point. Robert Greene, 50 Cent and I are far from perfect. Help us get one step closer.

Talk soon,

Note Taking Nerd 2

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