August 2013

Who Gives You Advice?

A few days ago I was at The Barclays golf tournament watching Jason Day as he was about to tee off with his three wood.

(above: Jason Day is a professional golfer that plays on the PGA Tour)

He was standing at the 5th hole tee box analyzing his shot and thinking about what club to use. These are the same steps that he, and probably every other golfer does before they hit the ball. The only difference however is that he is a professional and most other golfers, like me, are far from it. So I really started to laugh when I overheard the following conversation between Jason and some seemingly out-of-shape, mildly drunk, pompous golf spectator.

Golf spectator: Hey Jason, you’re not using your driver, huh?

Jason Day: Hey Buddy, that’s why you’re on the other side of the ropes.

Everyone was laughing including the genius that tried to give golf tips to the golf pro. Jason also had a laugh and then softened the blow a bit to save the guy from pure humiliation.

Jason Day: All good man, I’m just kidding. Thanks.

Too bad he wasn’t kidding.

There are many critics out there and it seems everyone has some advice to give. Sometimes you have to stop and think about where that advice is coming from.

The corporate ladder climber that offers advice on startups.

The single person that offers advice on relationships.

The broke person that offers advice on money management.

The drunk amateur that offers advice on golfing.

When it comes to taking advice the best critic is you. Listen to yourself first. Trust your instincts. Occasionally you can and should listen to others but understand where they are coming from and where they’ve been. Jason’s golf critic was some 300 pound fat dude drinking a beer. Of course he wasn’t going to listen to him.

If you are getting outside input from someone first think about why they are uniquely suited to add value to your situation. If you can’t think of anything meaningful then you’re probably just listening to the guy  outside of the ropes.

Who gives you advice?

YouTube Is Growing Up, Celebrates At VidCon In Anaheim

This post originally appeared on

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YouTube has been around for a while but it’s finally becoming the transformational platform everyone thought it could and would become. Until recently, brands and businesses have written off the medium as a place for teenagers to film short, quirky, and often nonsensical short form videos. But something funny happened along the way. Many of these teenagers became overnight sensations which has people rethinking the power of online video.

Take for example Jenna Marbles. With about 10 million YouTube subscribers and over 1 billion video views, she has amassed a following most brands would be envious of. And there are plenty of others trying to follow in her foot steps by using YouTube as a platform to create a meaningful brand and personality. This week, many of these YouTube stars and celebrity hopefuls will converge in Anaheim, California for the VidCon conference. In attendance will also be other forms of professionals and they are ones you’d only expect to find in Hollywood: talent managers and entertainment agents. The talent and respective managers are both starting to realize that YouTube has completely changed the game.  And this trend is only increasing. According to Rolling Stone magazine, just last week Russell Simmons announced a brand new music label with YouTube and Universal Music  that would be focused on promoting and developing new artists using YouTube.

But music isn’t the only category that is taking advantage of the medium.

Major retailers, consumer packaged goods companies, and beauty companies, are beginning to partner up with influential YouTube bloggers in order to facilitate product placement within online videos. Companies like Stylehaul and HaulerDeals have been created to facilitate these types of transactions between product companies and video bloggers.

Media companies are starting to invest heavily in in-house video production and content creation, whereas just a few years ago they would argue that it was too expensive. However, after recently speaking to a number of executives at various media companies like Conde Nast and Hearst, it’s clear that they realize the time to invest in video is now. And with the costs of video production coming down due cheaper and better tools it’s starting to become a no-brainer for businesses to get into the video production game. is one such example where videographers can film, edit, and publish a professional video without needing anything more than just an iPhone.

Even medium to small sized businesses realize that in order to do effective marketing and sales, you need to be able to tell your story in a meaningful and engaging way. And how much more engaging can you get than using site, sound and motion? This is the reason more and more businesses feature videos right on their home pages, and even about-us pages, instead of static text.

So if you’re thinking about building your own personal brand or adding fuel to your business, you should take another look at YouTube. It’s not just about teenagers and cute kitten videos anymore.

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