Sources of Insight is four years old as of Sep 1st, 2012. A year ago, I posted that Sources of Insight is three years old.
It was a year of exponential growth. I try to keep the blog low-key. I’m a fan of silent, quick, and effective. I want the growth to be a by-product of solving big challenges for people through skills, techniques, wisdom, and experience. I think there is plenty of opportunity to help people live better with skill.
My goal continues to be to help you “stand on the shoulders of giants” by drawing from the best books, people, and quotes from around the world, and from the dawn of time. I want to put at your finger tips everything from executive thinking skills, to business skills for life. There is an enormous gap between the state of the art and the state of the practice. I want to bridge that gap. I wan to advance the art and practice of living with skill.
Skills to Pay the Bills and Lead a Better Life
At Sources of Insight, I provide you with skills to pay the bills and lead a better life. In my ideal scenario, you can tap into the greatest skills the world has ever known. What if you could think like an executive, create like a Disney Imagineer, and make things happen like a skilled project manager? What if you could analyze opportunities like a McKinsey consultant, read a room like a skilled comedian, and manage your motivation and focus like an Olympic athlete? What if you had the mental toughness of a Navy Seal, the emotional intelligence of a highly skilled actor, and could see the chessboard of life like a highly skilled strategist? Dare to dream what you are capable of.
Above all, at Sources of Insight, the goal is to help you live your values, and follow your passions in a sustainable way. There is extensive material here to help you find your vision, mission, and values, and to play to your strengths, and to limit your liabilities.
I like the focus because it is all about empowering you with skill.
The phrase I’m using now to remind me of the mission is “skilled for life.”
By the way, I updated my About page to reflect a lot of this thinking and vision.
Stats at a Glance
I like to keep a handle on my stats, while keeping my main focus on flowing value to readers of Sources of Insight. In the last year, I added more than a 1,000 subscribers (I’m now in the 5,000 range). That’s the same pattern as last year. The big change is my monthly visitors: 165,000 unique visitors per month and around 7,000+ a day (Visits per month is190,000, and Page Views per month is 250,000.) This is significant growth compared to last year where traffic was around 60,000 unique visitors per month, and around 2,000+ visits a day.
Top Three Posts of 2012
- 101 of the Greatest Insights and Actions for Work and Life – This is a roundup of some of the most useful insights you can use to improve your personal effectiveness . It includes coverage of Black Sawn theory, Deliberate Practice, “Doublethink”, the Gambler’s fallacy, the Johari Window, the Zeigarnik Effect, and more.
- How To Scale Yourself as a One-Man Band – I wrote this post to help people achieve more impact with skill. The approach uses three strategies: an extreme priorities list, identifying 80/20 value, and getting a quick solution now, a better answer later.
- What I’ve Learned About Love – This is a guest post by Rob Boucher that really hit a sweet spot for many people and helped them better understand love. He covered everything from unconditional love to separating love from wants and needs.
Three Things Going Well
- Book Reviews. I started doing Book Reviews this year. It only makes sense. I read and share a lot of books. My approach for doing book reviews is a bit different. I like to think of them as “Book Trailers.” I give you a quick overview of the book, and show you a few of the exciting scenes from the book, so that you can truly get a taste for what the book is really like. I also drill down on the real problems that the book actually helps you solve.
- Quotes Collections. I am a fan of “wisdom of the ages and modern sages.” I already had a large quotes collection. My Great Quotes page tends to show up in the top of search results. This past year, I’ve added several new quotes collections to put better wisdom at your finger tips. I’ve added the following collections: Bruce Less Quotes, Buddha Quotes, Change Quotes, Confucius Quotes, Dr. Seuss Quotes, Gandhi Quotes, Gratitude Quotes, John Maxwell Quotes, Leadership Quotes, Life Quotes, Moving On Quotes, Positive Quotes, Project Management Quotes, Richard Branson Quotes, Seth Godin Quotes, Stephen Covey Quotes, Tony Robbins Quotes,
- The User Experience. I spent significant time to find ways to simplify and make it easier to explore Sources of Insight. I simplified the menu bar. I created an Articles page so you can easily flip through the archives or quickly flip through some of the top articles under hot categories under Career, Happiness, Motivation, etc. I made some key changes to the home page to also simplify the flow and focus. I also added a set of quick links at the top so that it’s easy to browse Great Books, Great People, Great Quotes and my Featured Guests, as well as Effectiveness, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Personal Development, and Thinking Skills. The feedback has been surprisingly positive, as if these little but significant changes were long overdue. Don’t take my word for it though, take the Home page for a test drive and see for yourself.
Three Things to Improve
- Social Media. I know I could do some work here to integrate the top platforms: Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. It hasn’t been a priority for me yet. I’ve wanted to make sure I first and foremost focused on building a treasure trove of high value content that helps people in very real, and very pragmatic ways. That said, I do know that people like to consume and share from their platforms of choice, beyond RSS, so I’ll be addressing this.
- Guest Posting. I know that the smartest way I can grow my traffic in a healthy and relevant way is to write high value articles for fellow sites in my niches. I’m not in any hurry. I believe that slow and steady wins the race, and that it’s more important for me to focus on things that are sustainable for the long run. And part of that means not over-extending myself or trying to keep up with the Jones’s. Instead, my primary focus is on solving real problems with skill, and helping people expand what they are capable of. By doing that, I rise above chasing any strategies or tactics that don’t directly contribute to that mission. That said, I believe in the power of guest posting, and I have done a few guest posts over the past year: 10 Proven Practices for More Productive Leadership for Michael Hyatt. This next year might just be when I crank things up a notch.
- Monetizing. I actually get readers and colleagues that are frustrated that I give out too much value for free. They say I don’t capture the value. I’ve had several readers complain that I don’t have a Donate button. I’ll address the issue, but for now I tell them that one of the best things they can do to support Sources of Insight is buy my book, Getting Results the Agile Way, for a friend or family member, or their team, to give them an edge in work and life, and to help them master productivity, time management, and work-life balance. I wrote the book to help everybody do anything better, and to make the most of what they’ve got. It’s a simple system for meaningful results. If you’re not convinced, watch the video, read the stories, and even read the book online at Getting Results.com. The book is slowly spreading through organizations to help empower people with skill.
None of these are excuses. It’s just context. I will be adding social media features, doing guest posts, and experimenting with monetization, while expanding my products and services. Of course, this is all balanced with me making things happen during my day job as a Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, where I am known for delivering high value, “directing blockbusters”, and mentoring teams, leaders, and individuals for high-performance.
Oh, the places we’ll go. One of the big things I want to do is help you get faster at the basics. I’m going to reveal techniques and tools for reading and processing information at superhuman speeds. I’m also going to give you a large arsenal of project management and strategy skills. Not only does this align with my day job, and my expertise, but I believe that these are some of the best skills that you can possibly add to your toolbox for work and life.
Along the way, I’ll continue to expand on the foundation of Sources of Insight, which is great books, great people, and great quotes. I’m always on the lookout for best-selling authors and experts, as well as everyday people and unsung heroes that have amazing skills to share with the world.
I may also share some of the “blockbusters” I am working on outside of work, including helping a former billionaire tell his story of having it all, losing it all, and bouncing back from rock bottom and really figuring out what a meaningful life is all about, and what it’s like to be a life-long learner with a billionaire mindset. In another case, I’m also helping a top Chinese doctor share some of the greatest learnings on diabetes, heart disease, and several forms of cancer. She has seen it all. She knows what works. She’s saved many, many lives, and has helped people that were written off. She is a doctor’s doctor. And in another case, I am helping a proven leader change the public education system for the U.S. to be “learner-first”, where kids get the skills and tools they really need for the world. It’s an exciting space, and I get an inside look at how more than 300 schools have transformed and leap frogged the learning system.
As always, if there are special problems or challenges that you’d like to see me address on Sources of Insight, be sure to let me know.
Call to Action
No, this is not a big rally of the troops. These are just two little ideas that if you are feeling inspired, you might take me up on:
- Let me know how Sources of Insight has helped you. You can use my Contact form, and tell me how it’s helped you. These are always great to read. I won’t share your information, unless you ask me to. On the flip side, if Sources of Insight has not yet helped you, then let me know how it can.
- In the spirit of Sources of Insight’s birthday, share Sources of Insight with a friend. It’s easy. Just let folks know Sources of Insight is where to get “Skilled for Life.” It’s a premium place for improving personal effectiveness. The URL is easy. It’s SourcesOfInsight.com. Share it on your Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, email, or whatever is your way of sharing with your tribe.
Why share? It’s a great way to lift others up, and that’s what Sources of Insight is all about.